Responsibility, respect & kindness…

There are some things that are harder to teach. Struggle with reading? There’s title reading. Struggle with math? Maybe a tutor or some extra time with the teacher is needed. How you interact with others is more tricky. It’s not something that we should expect our schools to teach. It should start at home. (Disclaimer- I’m NOT a perfect parent, I’ve made plenty of mistakes!)

Our kids have been at a new school for 4 months. They haven’t always had an easy time, but last week I felt a huge sigh of relief. We got a letter in the mail for our 8th grader. He was nominated by a teacher for the Alexandria Code of Conduct “Responsibility” breakfast. They honor kids who exhibit their core code of conduct values. He was selected for responsibility. I couldn’t be more proud. In 4 months, he’s shown his teachers he can be responsible. Even when some kids in his group are roudy, he hasn’t followed them blindly. It was the best caramel roll ever.

At the same time, we got the report card for our 4th grader. They get graded on a scale of 1-4, 4 being the highest. He received 4’s in Respect and Kindness. Struggle with writing? I can accept a 2 in writing if there is 3-4 in conduct. For our child with anxiety issues, he has shown his teacher that he’s respectful when she is talking. He has shown classmates his kindness. He has befriended a special needs girl and he goes out of his way to make her feel included. He makes her feel special. He sees her as a person. If we were at our old school, they would say that he’s showing his greatness.

My story isn’t to highlight my parenting skills. I’m harder on my kids than I should be sometimes. I’m also their biggest cheerleader. When they do stuff like this, it makes me think that they will do OK in life. They have they foundation to be good people. They are enough. It reminds me of a Lenten confirmation message… we talked about how God loves us regardless of our gold stars and straight A’s. I explained to the 8th grader that it’s like my love for him. I will always love him… regardless of his grades, how fast he runs or how many fish he catches – he’s my son and nothing could make me love him less. I may get mad or disappointed, but I will always love him. I explained that’s a lot like God’s love – but his is even bigger.

To God, we are always going to be enough. Our lives may deviate from his chosen path, but there is always time for us to get back on track with his plan. Those tests and trials will make us stronger. The people we meet on those detours have something to teach us. May your heart be open to following his journey for you. Peace be with you on your journey of enough. ❤

Peace, signs & perspective…

Sometimes, days go by like the movie “Groundhog Day.” Other times, you get repeated messages or signs over and over and over. Today was one of those days. Everything seemed to be sending messages of letting go, of releasing anxiety and of finding peace.

Maybe it’s because it is the start of a new month. Maybe it’s because today is the first day of Lent. Maybe it’s just because I’m paying attention. Sometimes I feel conceited for thinking that God takes the time to send signs to little old me. And then I realize that He sends signs to all of us. If we are too busy or aren’t listening, he keeps trying. The God of the universe tries to make sure we have what we need.

We closed on our houses this week – the sale of our old house and the purchase of a new home. It’s the start of a new chapter and a new adventure… Anxiety, letting go & finding peace. We went to Lent service tonight and were reminded that God finds us when we are lost. It talked about leaving home and Jesus venturing away from what was familiar and safe and going out into the wilderness. My 14 year old leaned over and said, “it’s kind of like they are talking about us.” There was an artist there who painted during the service. In less than an hour, he created a masterpiece. It was related to the Bible story about the man who stored up his weath, but for what? He was so proud of his earthly wealth but what good did that do when he was gone? A reminder that it’s not about “things.”

Then, our bedtime reading of “Jesus Calling for kids” by Sarah Young also talked about peace and anxiety. We should hand over what we need to God & thank him.

You, Lord, give true peace. You give peace to those who depend on you. You give peace to those who trust you. Isaiah 26:3

The perspective comes from those who have lost people close to them recently. Some died too soon, some unexpectedly, but all created a void. We cannot live on earth forever, but we aren’t always ready to leave. We heard a story tonight of a 43 year old man who died suddenly of a heart attack. 43. My age. Perspective.

So, here is my wish for you –  may you have peace or learn ask for it. May you see the signs that are being sent for you. May you understand that God’s timing isn’t the same as ours. May you have the perspective you need to appreciate the good in your life. Peace be with you on your journey of enough.